Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Mark Twain

Some of the wise and/or funny sayings of Mark Twain:

Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity -- another man's I mean.

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.

I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.

I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it.

I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.

I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won't.

I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said I don't know.

If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.

In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination.

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.

It is easier to stay out than get out.

It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.

It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more wonderful to miss it.

Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.

Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.

The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession.

The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself.

Time cools, time clarifies; no mood can be maintained quite unaltered through the course of hours.

Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.

Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.

We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read.

When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not.

When in doubt, tell the truth.

When people do not respect us we are sharply offended; yet deep down in his private heart no man much respects himself.

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.

When you cannot get a compliment any other way pay yourself one.

Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

Man is the Only Animal that Blushes. Or needs to.

The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

He wrote some of the most cutting things . . . and some of the funniest.

My husband, brother, sister-in-law and I got to see Hal Holbrook do his live Mark Twain performance about a month ago. It's Holbrook's farewell tour. It was so cool.

Sage said...

I love his acerbiveness(sp)

Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.

I also liked the saying There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics which is attributed to Benjamin Disraeli but I believe that Mark Twain had something to do with it..

I remember that fact when reading anything with statistics on..

Anonymous said...

Makes me soooo jealous that I cannot use words as he did! Brilliant.

Doorman-Priest said...

"In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination."

Oh yes!

McNoddy said...

I was feeling low after the footie on Wednesday, but read this and as he said "The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up."

You and he did. Thanx

Mr. Nighttime said...

Twain was our first, true political comedian, and is the standard by which even our modern day ones are measured......He also said:

"Man is the only religious animal. In helping to smooth his brother's path to the happiness of heaven, he has turned the globe into a graveyard"

Ok, I'll duck under the furniture now....... ;-)

His Girl Friday said...

Mark Twain's a favorite! :)

I like the one about schooling and education...but then, I homeschool! :))

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